Many of the knives and tools that I make are based on those used for hundreds, or even thousands of years. That said, I also make more accurate copies for living history and museum use when requested to do so.
I have a sliding scale of authenticity, based on the materials used and the intended purpose. This ranges from a mild steel lookalike that is ideal for display, school handling collections or LRP vis-rep; to wrought iron blades with hearth (or shear) steel edges and natural glues that are aimed at those looking for as close to 100% accurate as possible. Please see below for more details.
Since so many of these tools/knives have remained unchanged for centuries, I have not listed which period an item is suitable for unless it is only known from a specific date (such as a socketed iron age axe is only known from the early-mid iron age!). If you are unsure whether a piece is suitable for your period, then just get in touch and I will see what I can do :-)
This page was last updated on: August 8, 2020
Rather than split these into time periods, where many designs will cover a range of dates, I have split them into types of knife as I would do with my modern blades. Obviously you can use them for whatever you see fit though (within reason, no trying to chop an armoured Roman's head off with a fine kitchen knife!).
Here is a selection of knives that I have made in the past, NOT a catalogue of knives available (unless otherwise stated). For knives that I have in stock currently, please see my main Available Knives page. I can make pretty much any type of knife that you would like upon request as well, though I don't make swords or blunts.
I am also happy to supply you with just the blade so that you can put together your own knife
Generally kitchen knives have thinner blades than utility or war knives, with the exception of heavy choppers and cleavers. These knives do not come with sheaths, but one could be made upon request.
If you are looking for an eating knife, then I suggest also looking at the general purpose selection below.
These are the knives that you might carry on your belt for all sorts of little jobs. I've limited these to knives that have a sheath and are not more than 10" blades, beyond that they are either above in Kitchen or below in War knives.
Handle materials have been chosen to be correct for the geography for the period, mostly that means native European woods, horn, antler and bone. The sheaths have been made based on available archaeological evidence. This means that they are either sewn up along the back akin to modern Scandinavian sheaths or are sewn tight along the edge but do not have a welt as a modern sheath does (this is the extra layer of leather that stiffens and protects the stitching). They are also of thinner leather and have been stiffened with molten beeswax, though I will shortly be lining some medieval sheathes with an extra layer of thin leather or rawhide.
Here are a couple of ideas for sharp knives that can be used in character. Whether it be a steampunk, post apocalyptic or a mythical based system, I'm sure I can fashion something to suit.
Once again, these are divided into tool types rather than time periods. Only a fraction of the tools that I make are shown here though! Have a look through the Tools page of my website for more examples. Only tools that I have made specifically for living history or museum purposes have been put in below, but most tools haven't changed much in over 2000 years.
The difference between these historical tools and the ones that you generally find on the internet is that these are PROPER TOOLS. I make tools for modern craftspeople, who's livelihoods depend on quality tools, not just a piece of modern mild steel that looks kind of like an ancient tool. The only exception to this rule is where a tool is designed to be a display piece only, such as a children's handling collection or a museum display.
Once again, the various levels of authenticity apply.
Whittling, carving, pole lathe turning, timber framing and fine carpentry. These tools are made to the highest modern toolmaking standards with high carbon steel. I often have examples of these in stock in a selection of sizes and styles. Other shapes and sizes of the various tools can be made upon request.
Of course, if you really want the period correct materials, then that can be accommodated as well :-)
Earth works and digging
Since most people who will be buying these tools are not going to be doing a great deal of digging with them, I normally make them from mild steel (not dissimilar to the originals in that respect). So while they will perform their tasks adequately well, they should not be expected to perform like (or for as long as) a modern version. Of course, should you wanting such a modern quality tool made then I can do so, but it will cost more due to the materials and heat treating costs.
I've made a lot of random tools over the years, some of them are shown here. If you have a particular tool in mind then please get in touch and I will see what I can do ;-)
I don't do much in the way of normal blacksmithing, so you are unlikely to see the usual array of fire boxes and cooking furniture. There are a thousand and one other smiths turning out that sort of gear, they seem to enjoy it but it's not my cup of tea. Sorry
However, I do make other things for use around the Living History or Role Playing camp :-) Such things as Fae friendly spoons, Iron Sporks, Caffetieres and metal cups...
Cafetiere (Coffee Pots!)
Satisfying the need for a good coffee in the morning without having to leave camp when IC. These double walled Stainless steel caffetieres have had the outer surface distressed and new handles attached to make them fit in. I use one myself in the workshop and not only do they look great but they keep you coffee hot for ages!
Available in 1L (8 cup) and 350ml (3 cup, or one mug!). Handle options so far are antler, wood and leather bound; but I have some plans for others this year...
Metal Cups and Bowls
Hand beaten cups made from copper or brass and (normally) tinned inside for hygiene purposes. I make these with antler, horn, metal or no handles. The one being investigated by the chicken has brass feet (no handle) and rings ling a bell when struck!
Mostly these are about the size of a large mug, but I can make them larger or smaller upon request.
Sporks and Spoons
I make a lot of sporks (spoon on one end, fork at the other) for the Bushcraft community, but they are equally fun for LRP. There are some examples existing from the Roman period and then some later into the 17th-18th Century (known as Sucket spoons).
Mostly I make spoons and sporks from mild steel, but I can also make them from copper alloy, silver or pattern welded steel.
I'm a lover, not a fighter. So I don't make much in the way of weaponry, but some things are just cool objects, whatever their intended function! Recently I have started to get into Anglo Saxon pattern welded spears and Dane Axes (courtesy of some friends with a hankering).
I'm afraid that I do not (currently at least) make swords and I will never make reenactment blunt weapons. They are like cardboard cars: looks like a car, but wouldn't carry you swiftly to the other side of the country. Also, there are plenty of other smiths who do make these and seem to enjoy it.
Based on archaeological examples, these spears are equally suited to the museum or the collector. All are made from either a single piece of spring steel or fire welded together from many pieces of such suitable steels. They are all heat treated and sharp, not razor honed sharp, but 'fit for purpose' if you like, just don't go poking your mates with them or dropping them on your foot!).
The closed sockets are normally mild steel fire welded to the spring steel blade, whilst the split sockets are forged integrally from the same piece.
Spears (pattern welded)
All of the details listed for the plain steel spears are true for these, except that the blades are pattern welded steel! The patterns used in these blades are also archaeologically known (or at least plausible and would not be thought out of place at the time).
Some include wrought iron in the pattern to add an extra dimension to the look, this also makes it more difficult to make and adds to the authenticity (by making it rust faster and be subject to material flaws!).